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Holy Moly Carry Me

Holy Moly Carry Me

by Erika Meitner
Holy Moly Carry Me

Holy Moly Carry Me

by Erika Meitner


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Winner of the 2018 National Jewish Book Award for Poetry

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

Erika Meitner’s fifth collection of poetry plumbs human resilience and grit in the face of disaster, loss, and uncertainty. These narrative poems take readers into the heart of southern Appalachia—its highways and strip malls and gun culture, its fragility and danger—as the speaker wrestles with what it means to be the only Jewish family in an Evangelical neighborhood and the anxieties of raising one white son and one black son amidst racial tensions and school lockdown drills. With a firm hand on the pulse of the uncertainty at the heart of 21st century America and a refusal to settle for easy answers, Meitner’s poems embrace life in an increasingly fractured society and never stop asking what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942683629
Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Series: American Poets Continuum , #166
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 1,120,133
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Erika Meitner is the author of five books of poems, including Ideal Cities (Harper Perennial, 2010), which was a 2009 National Poetry Series winner, Copia (BOA Editions, 2014), and Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions, 2018). Her poems have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, The New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, Best American Poetry, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. In 2015, she was the US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast, and she has also received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is currently an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she directs the MFA and undergraduate programs in Creative Writing.

Read an Excerpt


If you are fearful, America,

I can tell you I am too. I worry

about my body—the way, lately,

it marches itself over curbs and

barriers, lingers in the streets

as a form of resistance.

The streets belong to no one

and everyone and are a guide

for motion, but we are so numerous

there is no pavement left on which to

release our bodies, like a river spilling

over a dam, so instead my body

thrums next to yours in place.

When we stop traffic or hold

hands to form a human chain,

we become a neon OPEN sign

singing into the night miles from

home when the only home left

is memory, your body, my body,

our scars, the dark punctuated

with the dying light of stars.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Erika Meitner is the quintessential 21st century storyteller bearing witness from the vantage point of a social critic with heart, humor, and an incomparable voice. Holy Moly Carry Me is an urgent document of our complex ties with the past, and the dangers of letting histories, private and public, repeat themselves. She reminds us that “We are under the care of each other and sometimes we/ fail mightily to contain the damage.” This collection is Meitner at the height of her powers." —Carmen Giménez Smith

"Holy Moly Carry Me is a triumph! In these formally dexterous poems Meitner vibrates wildly between the song & the document, exploding the shadowy space between history & memory. The opening poem tells us, “There are holes in all of these stories—open-mouthed gaps in the fence, a singing presence.” The voices in this books fill those gaps with a brilliant & difficult noise. In this necessary unprecedented book Meitner has assembled the materials of our apocalyptic present & past and invites us in to revel & quake with her." —sam sax

“In the stunning, exact, and haunting book Holy Moly Carry Me, Meitner’s strong signature voice is on full display, but with a complex empathy for the violent, messed-up world. These are powerful poems that wonder, ache, fear, question, delve into history, and somehow never stop praising the human capacity for survival.” —Ada Limón

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